Amanda Witt on Keeping Children Innocent When Lesbians Move In
Early one Saturday morning the doorbell rang. It was a young girl -- taller than I am, heavily built, but still a young girl. "Last night we moved in across the street," she said. "And I've heard you have a daughter my age. Can she come out to play?"
I called my eleven-year-old daughter, and she and one of our sons -- the seven-year-old -- went out to meet the new neighbor. They played with her all morning, building a fort and planning a club, and at lunchtime she asked if she could eat with us, "because we don't have any food in the house yet."
"Sure," I said, and made burritos. After lunch the kids went back out to play some more, but within a few minutes my two came bursting back in, looking bewildered and upset.
The seven-year-old had learned a new word. "Her mother is a lesbian!" he announced.
Cats, Birds & Oaks
At his dramatic announcement all the kids began talking at once, including my nine-year-old son, who had missed the whole interesting episode and now was torn between sharing his recently acquired knowledge of the birds and the bees, and obscuring said information for the sake of his younger brother.
"Lesbians are like a cat trying to marry a bird," he said, then immediately began arguing with himself. "Except a cat and a bird are totally different, and lesbians are the same. So maybe they're more like an oak tree trying to marry an oak tree."
His brother's eyes glazed over. Their sister, frustrated, began to spell out, explicitly, the problem, which provoked the older boy into covering the younger boy's ears, which resulted, inevitably, in a wrestling match.
Desperately I called a halt to the racket and, appointing each child to speak in turn, pieced together what had happened. The conversation seems to have gone something like this:
Neighbor girl: "Do you think being a lesbian is okay?"
My daughter: "No."
My son: "What's a lesbian?"
Neighbor girl: "You know, like, gay."
"Oh, you know. Like two men getting married, or two women getting married."
Read the entire article on the Touchstone Magazine website (new window will open).